I've been watching this forum for some quite time quietly while preparing for OCAJP exam. As my exam day is finally behind me I would like to share my experience. It might be handy for newcomers as it was handy to me when I read similar stories from the others.
So, here is my story:
I am quite old chap, my times are gone and I've been making my living out of the fact that I am an expert in technologies whose days are over but not dead yet, especially in a corporate segment. You know, old good PLSQL, 4th gen RAD tools using client-server model etc. Simply said, I come from times where "methods" were "functions" or "procedures".
Some months ago I was disturbed from my comfort zone when I was suddenly, out of a helluva reason, reassigned to the team of the "alpha-dogs" in the company. You know, all the buzzwords like Agile and Scrum (please, someone, kill this abomination!), Java EE, Jboss, GiT, JIRA, Docker, you name it. Since that day, my good sleep nights were over. I was lost in techs I've never touched before, depressed, a hero turned into a zero.
And it should go from bad to worse. I was asked to go for a OCAJP exam as it is required for being in such team.
Oh well...challenge accepted!
In the beginning of the November I borrowed a book by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff. I read it to the last page and started doing mock tests by Enthuware. My results? 54 percent at the best. Even I was well familiar with the OOP concepts before I was totally lost with the Java implementation. Zero indexing seemed like a bad joke to me. I wanted to cry...
Then, during the Black Friday I noticed Udemy academy sells their OCAJP online course for more than a reasonable price. I bought it and start doing whole exam from the scratch using IntelliJ. I know, everyone says "don't use any IDE! Use text editor and the Java compiler!". Well, f*** it. There is no time to waste and I need to kill as many as birds with one stone I can. To study for the exam itself while to study using of IDE I have to use on daily basis now seemed like a good idea.
After almost two months of "studying new stuff" for couple of hours a day I was able to achieve circa 85 percent in Enthuware mock tests.
Yesterday, I did my Final test (an unique one) for 89 percent. Everybody says that if you are able to score like 85 percent in Enthuware tests you will likely score for 10 percent more in real exam.
I didn' feel overconfident but I knew I'm finally getting things together.
However, a night before the exam, I wasn't able to sleep. I slept like, I don't know, 2 hours? I was too nervous to sleep.
Today's morning I felt like a zombie. Like I'm hangover.
I went to my local certification authority provider and started a test. First circa 7 questions I was like "what the hell I am doing here?". I was totally out of shape and I couldn't recall anything.
But then I realized: are you really so weak? Are you really so useless? Are you a sayer or a doer? Did you spend last two months of studying stuff for nothing?
- I passed my exam for 75 percent and became an Oracle Certified Associate Java Programmer
- I realized you are never too old for a "new" stuff, everything is about stepping out of your comfort zone
- no matter what dev tools or study sources you use you will probably pass this exam if you take it seriously
- even if you never wrote a single useful Java class you can be granted a certification which says you are capable to do so ;)
- last but not least, Java is fun and I really want to go deeper!
At the end, I would like to thanks to all who shared their experience and knowledge.
Thank you and I wish you merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all of you.